Christine Lister named manager of new AccessAbility team
Dawson has been experiencing a period of unprecedented staff renewal over the past two years, with change happening in many areas including the Academic sector and Student Services.
The Student AccessAbility Centre is one such service, with an almost entirely new team of support staff, professionals and managers. The latest change to the roster is the addition of long-standing Dawson employee Christine Lister as Manager of the Centre, which she now supervises along with the Coordinator of Student Services.
Christine has played an instrumental role maintaining the daily operations of the SAAC for the past 10 years, including supervising the rapid switch to remote examinations for all SAAC students during the online semesters as a result of the pandemic. She now manages the service’s support staff, including Special Education Technicians, Invigilators, Attendants and Administrative Support Agents. “With Christine’s experience and strong relationship with external accessibility resources, the SAAC is even better prepared to face the challenges of supporting all Dawson students requiring reasonable accommodations.” said Student Services Director, Monique Magnan.
The SAAC serves almost 700 students, ensuring that they are supported with the appropriate accommodations for their diverse situations, including learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysorthographia, mental health disorders, mobility issues and hearing and vision impairments. Many students are on the autism spectrum, while ADHD also affects a large portion of the Dawson student population.
In order to serve these students and help remove unnecessary barriers on their paths to success, the SAAC connects them with the Centre’s Adapted Services Counsellors and Special Education Technicians who meet with students on a regular basis to fine-tune their accommodations and help guide them in their studies. The Centre also has an Inclusion Lab staffed by an Assistive Technology Counsellor and a dedicated exam space with administrative support and a team of invigilators.
Aside from three team members currently on leave (two of whom are new moms), all professionals and many support staff are new to Dawson. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge from their experience at other institutions. In the Fall 2021 semester, with guidance from retired Pedagogical Counsellor and current Adaptech researcher Alice Havel, the team was able to quickly and seamlessly move all returning students to new counsellors, while providing intake to scores of students new to the service.
With so many new teachers at Dawson, the AccessAbility staff is eager to begin outreach to all sectors in order to help facilitate the accommodation of students in, and outside the classroom. The new team is also open to questions, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, enquiries will be directed to the appropriate team member and answered promptly.
Dawson congratulates Christine on her new role as manager and welcomes the new SAAC members to the College’s Student Services team.
For more information, visit the SAAC’s website at www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/student-accessibility/